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5 Practical Steps to Becoming a Data-Driven Team

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Let's be honest: every marketing team dreams of being data-driven (and judging by the "shared beliefs" in this group, I bet a lot of you are leading the charge!). At SaaSJet, we were no different.

We had strategic plans, metrics, and a mountain of spreadsheets. But here's the thing: with information scattered across a million tools and limited data visibility, measuring success and optimizing campaigns felt like navigating a thick fog.

 This article shares our journey of transforming marketing data into a decision-making engine. Our approach isn't fancy or groundbreaking, but it's downright compelling and, more importantly,  implementable by any team: over the last year, we've seen substantial growth in key performance indicators, such as a 151.92% increase in trials for mature products. Additionally, the proportion of users we can accurately attribute to specific channels has surged by 54%.  Basically, our marketing efforts are now 54% more measurable and, you guessed it, data-driven.

What did we do?  Let's break it down into steps that you can implement in:

1. UTM Parameters: Tagging Everything for Clarity

We started with a fundamental step – ensuring UTM parameters were applied to all external content promoting our products. This simple step provided crucial insights into campaign performance and user acquisition channels. So, we revisited past content like articles, videos, posts, and infographics to add missing UTM tags. Now, we can allocate resources more effectively by concentrating on methods that provide the best return on investment thanks to this data-driven strategy.

2. Centralizing Product Data in One Place (Hello, Google BigQuery!)

Next, we unified all trials, subscriptions, and other product metrics into a single source of truth: the Google BigQuery cloud database. This consolidation made it a breeze to access and analyze data, making it super easy for us to work with data without needing the dev team on speed dial. Plus, by having one unified database, we ensured everyone across the company had access to accurate and up-to-date information.

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3. Making Product Usage Data Human-Readable

Our amazing developers are rockstars, but let's be real – sometimes their data analysis tools felt like trying to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. That's why we collaborated with them to integrate product usage events into the familiar world of Google Analytics 4.  This way, us mere mortals in marketing can analyze user behavior and make data-driven decisions for our campaigns without needing a PhD in data decryption or a Rosetta Stone.

4. Building Our Dream Data Dashboard

Using Looker Studio, a business intelligence system, we brought all the data streams together. This allowed us to create comprehensive marketing dashboards combining data from every corner of the marketing universe – traffic and events from Google Analytics 4 with campaign breakdowns by channel, product metrics from BigQuery, organic traffic from Search Console, YouTube channel analytics – you name it, it was there.

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These dashboards displayed real-time and historical trends (weekly or monthly) alongside the KPIs we were striving for. This eagle-eye view allowed us to monitor progress towards our goals and identify areas where we could be even better.

But here's the coolest part: we even integrated Jira tasks and product releases into the dashboards. This provided a holistic view of how our marketing activities were impacting product usage and sales.

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For example, we could instantly see if a new feature launch led to a surge in user trials or if it accidentally triggered churn. This data-driven approach empowered us to make informed decisions and optimize our campaigns on the fly.

5. Fostering a Data-Driven Culture: Because Data Doesn't Use Dashboards Alone

The fanciest dashboards are nothing without a team that knows how to use them. That's why we actively promoted analytical thinking and data-driven decision-making across the team.  We held workshops, created clear documentation explaining the dashboards, metrics, and their interpretation, and even whipped up some fun training videos (because who doesn't love a good explainer?).

 The result? A team of data-savvy marketers who can not only look at data but also use it to make informed decisions and achieve marketing goals.

In Conclusion, Teamwork Makes the Data Dream Work

Transforming marketing data into a decision-making engine requires a strategic yet practical approach. By implementing UTM parameters, centralizing data in Google BigQuery, integrating product usage events into Google Analytics 4, building informative dashboards with Looker Studio, and fostering a data-driven culture, our team transformed into a data-driven dream team.

 We hope our story inspires your teams to embark on their own data-driven journeys.  Remember, it's not about fancy tricks or crazy inventions but about taking small steps that can make a big difference in your teamwork game. 

Share what questions you have or what challenges you're facing in the comments below – we'd love to hear from you!

What questions do you have, or what challenges are you facing?

Share in the comments below – we'd love to hear from you!

4 comments

Humashankar VJ
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May 14, 2024

Hi @Halyna Kudlak _SaaSJet_ 

Great to see a marketing team taking a data-driven approach to optimize their campaigns!

The steps you outlined, such as implementing UTM parameters and centralizing product data in Google BigQuery, are actionable.

Like Halyna Kudlak _SaaSJet_ likes this
Dilara Erecek _Avisi Apps_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
May 14, 2024

This is really great content Halyna, thank you for sharing! I often find that content promising to help teams become more data-oriented can feel a bit empty, but your article is packed with practical tips and proven results.

I especially relate to the struggle of having information scattered across a million tools. You can't improve what you can't measure, right? Thanks again for the insights!

Like Halyna Kudlak _SaaSJet_ likes this
Halyna Kudlak _SaaSJet_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
May 16, 2024

Hey @Humashankar VJ  😊, 

Thanks for the kind words! 

Totally agree - UTM parameters and BigQuery were game changers for us 🚀 (and these steps were the easiest to implement).

Like Humashankar VJ likes this
Halyna Kudlak _SaaSJet_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
May 16, 2024

Hi @Dilara Erecek _Avisi Apps_

I completely agree with you 😊 – having data scattered everywhere is complex and can be distracting. Constantly switching between different tools, sources, and metrics can really scatter your focus. 

For us, consolidating all data sources into a single dashboard helps us focus on what matters most and avoid wasting time. 📊🔍

And thank you so much for your kind words! I'm really glad to hear you found the article practical and relatable. 

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